Two French doctors Jean-Paul Mira and Camille Locht, have sparked outrage after they were caught on television discussing “Africa as the best destination to conduct a test for COVID-19 vaccine”.
In a viral video clip shared on social media on Thursday, The two were filmed on set suggesting that a newly discovered possible COVID-19 vaccine should be tested in Africa the same way experimental treatment for aids was done on prostitutes. According to the journalist interviewing the doctors, the vaccine should be first tested on vulnerable Africans who have no mask, no treatment before using it to treat European citizens.
Jean-Paul Mira, head of resuscitation department at Cochin Hospital, also pointed out that the continent should be considered because of its perceived toughness to disease outbreaks.
“If I can be provocative, shouldn’t we do this study in Africa, where there are no masks, no treatment, no resuscitation, a bit like it has been done in some studies in AIDS, where among prostitutes, we try things, because they are exposed, and they don’t protect themselves, what do you think?” he asked.
Corroborating with him, Camille Locht, a research director at Inserm, said a similar approach could be adopted as an ongoing search for the COVID-19 vaccine intensifies across the globe.
“So you are right […] we’re thinking in parallel to a study in Africa precisely to make this same type of approach w/ BCG [vaccine] placebo, I think there is a call for tenders that was released or that will be released & I think we will indeed seriously think about that too,” he added.
This statement, which gives credence to the already existing belief that Africa has always been a testing ground for vaccines over the years, got the former Ivorian professional footballer and Chelsea Talisman, Didier Yves Drogba very angry and he took to his social media platforms to express this anger against the inhumane statement.
According to him, Africans must not be taken as human guinea pigs to test vaccines. He further added that the suggestion is demeaning, deeply racist and must be condemned. He equally called on African leaders to protect their citizens against it.
“Do not take Africans as human guinea pigs” Drogba fumes after French Doctors suggest testing of COVID-19 vaccine in Africa.